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How to organize successful events on campus?

Adi Dagan is our new UAEM Europe Campus and Campaign Organizer (CCO) and she will be joining us in this new column every month. She interviewed Jeffrie Buckle, chair of UAEM Maastricht chapter in the Netherlands, a 5th year medical student and Vera Stegmann from the Utrecht chapter in the Netherlands, 6th year medical student. 

Q: In Maastricht your chapter was successful in attracting many students to your events - at one time during the UAEM action week last year, more than 300 people participated in your event- could you describe how do you do it?
Jeff: My philosophy about events is that they should be mainstream. This means that while the content is always about access to medicines, we package the events with a subject that is well known to the general public. For example during the action week we organized an event and we called it "Ebola debate". More than 300 people came and we also live streamed it. I think it is very important that we in UAEM use different language when we talk to outsiders. If we talk about A2M people do not relate to it. We need to package it in a way that is interesting for them. 
 Q: What else do you do in order to make your events appealing to students?
Jeff: We try to make it fun. For example, last week we organized an auction to raise money for the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. In the first part we sold vouchers that restaurants contributed to us and in the second part we sold "services" from our members such as a guitar lesson, cooking a dinner, helping with moving, a photo session, etc. This was successful - we raised more that 600 Euro.
Another example of a fun activity - during the action week we organized a party and we called it "access party". There were free drinks with names such as Aids on the beach, Bloody malaria, Pina ebolada, etc. Students who came received mint boxes in different colours - if you got a certain colour it meant your life is saved from a disease, another colour meant you will not be saved. This was a fun way to raise awareness to A2M. 

Q: How do you publicize your events?
Jeff: We realized that publicizing events on Facebook is not enough and hanging posters is not an effective way to attract people to our events. What we do is first think - who are the people that we would like to come? For example - law students. Then we decide on a location according to that - to continue with the example - the event will take place in the law faculty. Then our PR coordinator looks at the schedule of relevant classes and assigns members to ask professors to let them talk in the first 5 minutes of classes. This is a good way to get people interested in our events because you have the opportunity to get your message through, you have the students` undivided attention and they see a real person, not just a page on Facebook
Vera: In Utrecht we organized a big conference on A2M - our goal was to get 150 students to attend and we were successful  - 155 students came. We made a special promotion video for the conference. The reason I thought it was important to make a video is that it is clearer to explain A2M in a visual way.  We also designed a set of posters (see here and here). We used many channels to publicize the conference - Facebook pages of all UAEM chapters in the NL, posters in all the faculties, talking about it in the IFMSA national event and showing the video in classes. We also got the medical faculty to allow us to use its communications` channels - their e-mail list of all medical students and their electronic message box. 
Q: Could you identify impact of events that you organized?
Vera: New members joined our chapter. We strengthened our network with the speakers in the conference (representatives from NGOs, global health professors, pharmaceutical companies representatives and more). 
Jeff: The events put UAEM on the map in the university and as a result new people joining UAEM - it does not happen in one wave, but every month 2-3 students want to join. I think that UAEM is still not known enough on campus and we have more work to do to improve that. We invited to one event the editor of the students newsletter and he came and wrote about UAEM. In addition we asked speakers in our events to become our advisory board. 

Q: Who is responsible for organizing events in your chapter?
Jeff: The Maastricht chapter has an awareness task force and a SRL task force. The awareness task force is divided into sub committees such as events committee, articles committee and more. We realized that we cannot work in a large group on projects and this is why we set up different committees. Each task force has a coordinator that reports to our vice chair so he can keep track of everything that is going on.

Q: What skills do you think members of the events committee should have?
Jeff: People who are sociable, who like to develop social networks and also people who prefer having a clear and concrete task.
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This is probably the most important email you'll get today. We're not kidding: 
Over and out. Andia, Yuri, Chris, Irene & Adi.


Dear UAEMers


As you may be aware, this is the last newsletter you will receive from the Board you elected in April 2014. Before saying our goodbyes, we have a few updates for you.


In March, we held our third and final physical meeting of our term. The meeting was the first opportunity for us to meet our new Campus and Campaigns Organiser, Adi Dagan, in person. She made a fantastic impression on us, and we hope you all take the chance to welcome her at the conference in Basel. We discussed future fundraising strategies, the SSWG proposal, and human resources, and prepared for the General Assembly. We were also fortunate to be joined by members of the local Berlin chapter for a social evening on Saturday.


A few weeks ago, we sent everyone an invitation to the General Assembly, along with several other important documents. We strongly encourage all members that will be in London for the conference to attend the General Assembly. The GA is a decision-making meeting, where members can oversee the progress of the organisation. This year, both the Sustainable Structure Working Group and the Board have proposed motions. If you do plan on attending, it is essential that you read these documents beforehand to allow meaningful discussion to take place.


The GA will also be an opportunity to elect a new board. If you are planning on standing for election, please feel free to contact us with any questions you have. This year, both Johannes Icking and Clara Matthiessen will be stepping down from the board. UAEM has been extremely lucky to have such committed and competent individuals devoting time to the organisation. We hope that you will join us in showing a gratitude for their hard work.


Finally, we would like to thank you all for the hard work you have put into UAEM this year. Your enthusiasm, values, and attitude make UAEM such a fantastic organisation to be part of, and such an honour to work for. We have faced new challenges this year, and new successes. As always, we will continue to rely on you, our members, to drive us forward.




UAEM Europe Board

Alan, Caroline, Chris, Clara, Johannes, Kush, Max, and Tommi


UAEM Annual Conference

Gathering young global health activists in London, Apr 24-25-26th 2015


Webinar series: How to Promote Global Access Licensing (GAL) on Your Campus?

The first session will be an introduction to GAL (a primer + a discussion).

Guest speaker: Ethan Guillen, former ED of UAEM North America, now consultant with the Medicines Patent Pool and board member of UAEM North America.


When? May 11th at 20:30-22:00 Berlin time.

For whom? European UAEM chapter members who have started or are planning to start a campaign on their campus to advance GAL.

How to attend online? Since we have a limitation of 25 participants in our webinar software program - please register ahead by sending an e-mail to Adi Dagan, UAEM Europe Campaigns and Campus Organizer: You will later receive a link to the call.

The webinar series: The webinar series will include several sessions, introducing central tools and skills such as strategic campaigning, how to work with the media and more. The first session about GAL will be delivered by Ethan Guillen. Participants will be able to ask questions and to take part in the discussion.

The webinar series is part of UAEM- Europe Knowledge Stewardship Campaign: One of UAEM- Europe important objectives as defined in our 2015-16 action plan is that European academic institutions adopt and implement global access-enabling IP management mechanisms, and the adoption and implementation of such policies are widely considered as important metrics of institutional success.

In addition to GAL, the KSC includes a variety of approaches and tools, you are welcome to read more about this campaign here.

Background Reading: Please read the following documents before the webinar -

The pilot Global Leadership Annual Meeting is to be held in Geneva in May. 

One of the initial projects of the pilot Global Governance Council has been to look at current UAEM meetings (national, regional, international) and how these are connected and organized. When do European and North American CCs do their planning? How does European and North American planning influence each other? Are our campaigns ‘truly’ global? How can we make sure that we benefit from each other’s work?

One of the pGGC’s suggestions was to set up a Global Leadership Annual Meeting. After discussing with UAEM boards, CCs and entities it was decided that the first pilot Global Leadership Annual Meeting (pGLAM) will take place on May 22nd and 23rdm in Geneva. At the pGLAM, UAEMers from all over the world (members of the pGGC, board, CC and other) will discuss some of the core governance issues the pGGC has been working on the last year (international communication, nomenclature, organization structure, scope of UAEM etc) - where we hope to move forward on how we can improve and work together as a global organization work.

If you would like additional information about the meeting or other aspects of the pGGC work, please do not hesitate to the European pGGC members:  

Julia Rappenecker
Kristine Husøy Onarheim

International media to criticize Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2)

IMI 2 has finally been studied by two newspapers, De Standaard and Der Spiegel, and they published a series of articles, an open critique to this initiative. 
UAEM co-signs a letter to European Commissioner Carlos Moedas (Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation), along with other organizations such as HAI, MSF Access, Salud por Derecho, etc, asking crucial questions. 
You can read the whole letter here. Share widely!

TTIP Action Day

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